Lifeflow Retreat FAQ

What to expect on a Lifeflow retreat

 

What retreat is for

Lifeflow retreat practice gives you time to rest, to restore your energies and the opportunity to let go of deadlines and busyness. You can learn to nurture yourself, restore a sense of balance and well-being, and open up to nature. 

Retreats allow you to go deeper with the Lifeflow meditations and to explore a topic of meditation in more detail. Many students have experienced profound realisations or touched deep experiences of calm and joy whilst in retreat. 

In all retreats we practise techniques that are useful in the retreat situation and can also be applied to everyday life. We aim to teach in a way that lets you link the experiences and understanding of meditation throughout your life.

What experience do I need?

Our retreats are open to everyone – no prior meditation or retreat experience is required. Everyone can gain some benefit from attending the retreat: complete beginners will learn to meditate in an ideal environment, whilst those with previous meditation experience can use the time to deepen their practice. We ask that everyone who attends a retreat be prepared to stay for its duration.

What happens at a Lifeflow retreat?

We provide a structured program throughout the course. The theory classes will follow the theme of the retreat, and there will also be meditation and Stretch and breathe (stretching exercises similar to gentle yoga) classes. The rest of the time is spent practising the Lifeflow meditations, going for walks, and just unwinding and soaking up the atmosphere. 

There is plenty of time to reflect on the ideas presented, as well as opportunities for asking questions so you can learn how to apply the practices in your own life. 

In a Lifeflow retreat your privacy is respected and you will not be expected to share your experiences with other people on the retreat. If you wish it, individual guidance is available.

A typical day on a Lifeflow retreat

Each day of the retreat provides a good balance between classes, time on your own, guided meditation sessions and plenty of time to enjoy the countryside. 

A typical day begins with a guided meditation session in the hall (which you are free to attend or not as you feel). This is followed by breakfast and free time to go for a walk or just enjoy the beautiful natural landscape of Tara Hills and the surrounding countryside. Then there is a class where you can learn more about meditation and discuss your experience. After class there is morning tea, followed by a meditation session, a short break and then a Stretch and breathe session (stretching exercises similar to gentle yoga). 

Lunch is followed by a deep relaxation session and time for an afternoon rest (or a longer walk if you prefer to be outside at this time). Afternoon tea is then available and this is followed by the second class for the day. After class you have time to go for an evening walk, followed by a guided meditation session and dinner. 

Your day ends with an evening relaxation and meditation session.

Keeping talking to a minimum

To ensure you gain the maximum benefit from your retreat experience, we have found it best to keep conversation to a minimum once the retreat is well underway. This gives everyone space and time to explore their own retreat experience. 

We allow plenty of time to settle in at the start of the retreat: the first dinner and breakfast allow an opportunity to chat with your fellow retreatants. After the first class on the second day, we ask everyone to keep to minimal talking until the last session of the retreat. The retreat concludes with a final lunch which provides the opportunity to socialise with your fellow retreatants. 

There are plenty of opportunities to discuss any questions you may have in the classes, and of course you can also talk to any of the teachers during the retreat. 

We ask too, for the comfort of all retreatants, that everyone maintain silence as much as possible in the accommodation building.

Smart phones and tablets

To get the most out of your retreat, we also suggest that you give yourself a ‘smart-phone-free’ weekend – either turning it off or putting it to flight mode for the duration of the retreat. 

When you have booked into a retreat we will give you the direct phone number for Tara Hills Retreat Centre. If you like, you can give this number to family or friends as an emergency contact while your phone is off. Our teachers constantly check this number during the retreat and will contact you immediately if needed. 

If you do need to keep your phone on, we ask that you put it to silent mode and refrain from using it in or near the accommodation building or anywhere that will disturb others.

What to bring

  • It’s best to wear loose comfortable clothing. Be prepared for a range of temperatures and weather conditions. It is normally a little cooler at Tara Hills than in the city.
  • Bring appropriate footwear if you like walking or jogging – there are several good walks on the nearby country lanes. Remember also to bring a hat and sunscreen for walks during the warmer months.
  • If you are staying in a Standard room and not using our linen service, then please bring bedding – sheets, blankets / doona & pillow(s). Don’t forget to bring a towel. If you are staying in an Ensuite room, or a Standard room with linen option, then all of the above will be provided. Please bring your own toiletries.
  • In order to minimize carpet wear, we ask that you don’t use your outside shoes when you are inside our buildings, so please bring separate footwear for this purpose. Shoes that slip on and off easily make retreat life a lot easier.
  • A watch or clock (so that you can keep track of when sessions are on) or your phone switched to flight mode. No alarm clocks please.
  • Please bring a notepad or journal and a pen.

What not to bring

We have found it best, both for yourself and the comfort of your fellow retreatants, if you do not use your mp3 players, incense & candles or read books, newspapers, magazines etc while on retreat. We have found that people can get much more out of their retreat time by leaving these things at home. 

To get the most out of your retreat, we also suggest that you give yourself a ‘smart-phone-free’ weekend – either turning it off or putting it to flight mode for the duration of the retreat. 

When you have booked into a retreat we will give you the direct phone number for Tara Hills Retreat Centre. If you like, you can give this number to family or friends as an emergency contact while your phone is off. Our teachers constantly check this number during the retreat and will contact you immediately if needed. 

If you do need to keep your phone on, we ask that you put it to silent mode and refrain from using it in or near the accommodation buildings or anywhere that will disturb others.

Respecting the privacy of others

At Lifeflow retreats we aim to create a clear and open space where everyone’s meditation work can safely unfold. Other people may not wish to disclose why they are attending the retreat or what is happening for them during the retreat – please be mindful of this and respect their privacy.

Food

Our retreats are fully catered for including morning and afternoon tea. We serve delicious, fresh, healthy, mostly vegetarian food. We always provide plenty of salads and fruit. If you have any special dietary requirements please bring any additional items you may need. Soy milk is provided. 

The culinary skills of our chefs are consistently praised by all!

Health

Please note that reasonably good health is required to gain the full benefit of your retreat. If you do have any health problems please let us know. If you need to take medication for any reason please advise us as, in certain rare cases, medication can interfere with your meditation experience.

How to get to Tara Hills Retreat Centre

We'll send a map of directions to Tara Hills to every student that books into a Lifeflow Retreat.

Cancellations and refunds policy

As places are strictly limited on our retreats, we have adopted a cancellations and refunds policy. See our Cancellations and Refunds page for full details.

Any further questions?

Please call us prior to booking into a retreat if you have concerns about any of the points above. We have adopted these guidelines as we have found they help everyone to gain the maximum benefit from the time spent in retreat.

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